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Division for Inclusive Excellence: The Next 90 Days

Friday, May 4, 2018

Dear VCU Colleague,

Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community in which people of all cultural backgrounds and life experiences are supported and valued. Our institutional commitment is reflected in the establishment of the Division for Inclusive Excellence more than six years ago, as well as in our university’s core values and mission statement and in our existing and future strategic plans. Diversity is among our greatest assets at VCU, and our effort to create and sustain an equitable and inclusive environment is the best approach toward leveraging this asset into universal excellence and success.

The changing national landscape in higher education and elsewhere presents our university with greater opportunities to account for our collective impact on student and employee success and in our delivery of high quality healthcare to all. Along with other university divisions and offices, the Division for Inclusive Excellence occupies a critical space within our local landscape by promoting a Great Place, National Prominence, Student Success and Collective Urban and Regional Transformation (Together We Transform, 2019-2025). Indeed, we will not achieve excellence in these areas as a university, unless the Division for Inclusive Excellence is able to mobilize all of our people to do the work necessary to get us there.

For this reason, the Division for Inclusive Excellence will explore an internal reorganization during the next 90 days. The reorganization, under its new moniker, IExcel, will result in a stronger infrastructure to support university strategic planning and implementation. There also will be greater alignment between the division’s organizational capabilities and intended impact. As such, IExcel will make a decided shift from an activities-based model to a service-impact model that allows the division to accurately locate tipping points for transformational change. The central focus across the next six years of the division’s lifespan will be how IExcel impacts a change in trajectory toward achieving parity and equity in the workplace (Great Place); employing transformative curricula and research leading to program distinction (National Prominence); providing access and opportunity for all of our students (Student Success); and contributing to the health and vibrancy of urban communities (Collective Urban and Regional Transformation).

It is recognized that reorganization at any level requires careful deliberation, thought and stakeholder support. Change can be unsettling for individuals as well as institutions. To help the university community to process these changes within the division, you are invited to post your open comments and reflections here. Periodically, we will read and respond to your comments as a transparent means to encourage ongoing dialogue, support and understanding. We will share more on the status of our reorganization in early fall 2018. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Aashir Nasim, Ph.D.
Vice President for Inclusive Excellence
Division for Inclusive Excellence